middle grade fiction

9 Exciting New Middle Grade Adventure Books and Series

Spring has not only brought flowers (though more in some parts of the country than others…) but it has unleashed a bumper crop of great new middle grade action and adventure books as well! Here are nine gripping new releases that will keep kids turning the pages.

How to Sell Your Family to the Aliens

How to Sell Your Family to the Aliens

Hardcover $13.99

How to Sell Your Family to the Aliens

Paul Noth

In Stock Online

Hardcover $13.99

How to Sell Your Family to the Aliens, by Paul North
Here is a fun science fiction story great for kids who loved oddball books like the Wayside School series when they were a year or so younger. 10-year-old Happy Conklin is the son of a famous inventor, living with his family in cramped quarters in the basement of his grandmother’s mansion while she takes all his dad’s money. Her control over her family is absolute and extends to experimenting on them (which is why Happy has a beard). Happy is fed up, and when his grandma decides it’s time to experiment on his littlest sister, he decides to do something about it all. So he sells his family to visiting aliens. He meant to sell just his grandmother, and just for a short space of time, but that’s not how the aliens heard the bargain. Now Happy has to travel through time and space to save his whole family from a death match in the aliens’ arena! It’s a funny fast read; great for 9-10 year olds still building their reading confidence.

How to Sell Your Family to the Aliens, by Paul North
Here is a fun science fiction story great for kids who loved oddball books like the Wayside School series when they were a year or so younger. 10-year-old Happy Conklin is the son of a famous inventor, living with his family in cramped quarters in the basement of his grandmother’s mansion while she takes all his dad’s money. Her control over her family is absolute and extends to experimenting on them (which is why Happy has a beard). Happy is fed up, and when his grandma decides it’s time to experiment on his littlest sister, he decides to do something about it all. So he sells his family to visiting aliens. He meant to sell just his grandmother, and just for a short space of time, but that’s not how the aliens heard the bargain. Now Happy has to travel through time and space to save his whole family from a death match in the aliens’ arena! It’s a funny fast read; great for 9-10 year olds still building their reading confidence.

A Friendly Town That's Almost Always by the Ocean!

A Friendly Town That's Almost Always by the Ocean!

Hardcover $16.99

A Friendly Town That's Almost Always by the Ocean!

Kir Fox , M. Shelley Coats

In Stock Online

Hardcover $16.99

A Friendly Town That’s Almost Always By the Ocean, by Kir Fox and M. Shelley Coats
If your kid liked picture books that bent reality in playful ways (like many of David Wiesner’s books, for instance), and is now 9 or 10 and still drawn to the bizarre, offer this deliberately odd, but warm and friendly, story about the town of Topsea and its many peculiarities. Davy’s Mom badly wants him to be happy in their new home, but without his dad, it’s hard. He gamely tries to fit in, but in a place where nothing, including the other kids, is normal the only way to be like everyone else is to go with the flow and embrace the weird. Though some parts of Topsea might be sinister (the rubber ducks!) and unpleasant (the strange seaweed!), Davy gradually feels at home. Davy’s is the central story, but it’s combined with snippets from the school newspaper, town bulletins, and bits of story from the point of view of other kids, which works well to bring the oddness front and center without overwhelming Davy or the reader. Nothing ever really makes sense, but it is great fun to read.

A Friendly Town That’s Almost Always By the Ocean, by Kir Fox and M. Shelley Coats
If your kid liked picture books that bent reality in playful ways (like many of David Wiesner’s books, for instance), and is now 9 or 10 and still drawn to the bizarre, offer this deliberately odd, but warm and friendly, story about the town of Topsea and its many peculiarities. Davy’s Mom badly wants him to be happy in their new home, but without his dad, it’s hard. He gamely tries to fit in, but in a place where nothing, including the other kids, is normal the only way to be like everyone else is to go with the flow and embrace the weird. Though some parts of Topsea might be sinister (the rubber ducks!) and unpleasant (the strange seaweed!), Davy gradually feels at home. Davy’s is the central story, but it’s combined with snippets from the school newspaper, town bulletins, and bits of story from the point of view of other kids, which works well to bring the oddness front and center without overwhelming Davy or the reader. Nothing ever really makes sense, but it is great fun to read.

Waste of Space (B&N Exclusive Edition) (Moon Base Alpha Series #3)

Waste of Space (B&N Exclusive Edition) (Moon Base Alpha Series #3)

Hardcover $16.99

Waste of Space (B&N Exclusive Edition) (Moon Base Alpha Series #3)

Stuart Gibbs

Hardcover $16.99

Waste of Space (Moon Base Alpha Book 3), by Stuart Gibbs
Dash is fed up with life in Moon Base Alpha; the thrill of being on the moon faded long ago. His birthday treat of a forbidden game of catch outside the base with his dad is cut short by a desperate scream coming from inside; Lars Sjoberg, the obnoxious space tourist loathed by everyone, has been poisoned. Dash is asked by the base commander to help investigate, as almost all the grown-ups are suspects. But there’s a bigger problem. The moon base is failing, and in just a few days it will run out of oxygen. Dash’s dream of going home to Earth is going to come true—if the would-be murderer doesn’t strike again, and if the base holds together long enough for evacuation ships to arrive. And on top of that, Dash’s secret friend, an alien emissary, is deciding if humanity is worth saving…Life on the moon is brought to incredibly vivid life in this cool sci fi mystery series; though this one stands alone, your kids will want to read the first two, Space Case and Spaced Out.

Waste of Space (Moon Base Alpha Book 3), by Stuart Gibbs
Dash is fed up with life in Moon Base Alpha; the thrill of being on the moon faded long ago. His birthday treat of a forbidden game of catch outside the base with his dad is cut short by a desperate scream coming from inside; Lars Sjoberg, the obnoxious space tourist loathed by everyone, has been poisoned. Dash is asked by the base commander to help investigate, as almost all the grown-ups are suspects. But there’s a bigger problem. The moon base is failing, and in just a few days it will run out of oxygen. Dash’s dream of going home to Earth is going to come true—if the would-be murderer doesn’t strike again, and if the base holds together long enough for evacuation ships to arrive. And on top of that, Dash’s secret friend, an alien emissary, is deciding if humanity is worth saving…Life on the moon is brought to incredibly vivid life in this cool sci fi mystery series; though this one stands alone, your kids will want to read the first two, Space Case and Spaced Out.

Chasing Helicity (Chasing Helicity Series #1)

Chasing Helicity (Chasing Helicity Series #1)

Hardcover $16.99

Chasing Helicity (Chasing Helicity Series #1)

Ginger Zee

In Stock Online

Hardcover $16.99

Chasing Helicity, by Ginger Zee
Most adventure books for kids are science fiction or fantasy, but here’s a good one for kids who like action set in the real world. Helicity is passionate about meteorology; she loves the power of fierce storms, and storm-chasers are her heroes. When a tornado slams into her home town she sees firsthand how deadly weather can be. Her house is destroyed, and her brother, who’s just gotten a football scholarship, breaks his throwing arm badly and it’s partly her fault. But then her pictures of the storm lead her to a mentor who makes her part of a real storm-chasing team, and Helicity sets off on her first meteorological mission…one that almost ends in a fresh tragedy. This is also a fast-paced story of being not a victim but a survivor, and about figuring out your passions and pursuing them with determination, even if your parents and friends aren’t quite convinced. And of course it’s a great read if you love storms!

Chasing Helicity, by Ginger Zee
Most adventure books for kids are science fiction or fantasy, but here’s a good one for kids who like action set in the real world. Helicity is passionate about meteorology; she loves the power of fierce storms, and storm-chasers are her heroes. When a tornado slams into her home town she sees firsthand how deadly weather can be. Her house is destroyed, and her brother, who’s just gotten a football scholarship, breaks his throwing arm badly and it’s partly her fault. But then her pictures of the storm lead her to a mentor who makes her part of a real storm-chasing team, and Helicity sets off on her first meteorological mission…one that almost ends in a fresh tragedy. This is also a fast-paced story of being not a victim but a survivor, and about figuring out your passions and pursuing them with determination, even if your parents and friends aren’t quite convinced. And of course it’s a great read if you love storms!

Peasprout Chen, Future Legend of Skate and Sword (Book 1)

Peasprout Chen, Future Legend of Skate and Sword (Book 1)

Hardcover $16.99

Peasprout Chen, Future Legend of Skate and Sword (Book 1)

Henry Lien

In Stock Online

Hardcover $16.99

Peasprout Chen, Future Legend of Ice and Sword, by Henry Lien
Martial arts figure skating for the win! Young Peasprout Chen dreams of become a legend of wu lie, the fierce and beautiful martial art of figure skating. She’s the best young skater in her rural country of Shin, and the Dowager Empress has chosen her and her little brother to represent Shin at the Pearl Famous Academy of Skate and Sword. Pearl is a much more sophisticated place than Shin, but Peasprout doesn’t let herself be dazzled for long. The competition among the first-year students is fierce, and Peasprout has a lot to learn. But coping with mean girl rivals isn’t her only problem. There are political intrigues as well, as tensions grow between Pearl and Shin, and rumors fly that Peasprout is a spy. Not only does she have to become a champion, but she has to figure out who her real friends are, navigating conflicts both internal and external in the process. Part school story, part martial arts adventure, and all excitement, Peasprout Chen and her story are indeed future legends!

Peasprout Chen, Future Legend of Ice and Sword, by Henry Lien
Martial arts figure skating for the win! Young Peasprout Chen dreams of become a legend of wu lie, the fierce and beautiful martial art of figure skating. She’s the best young skater in her rural country of Shin, and the Dowager Empress has chosen her and her little brother to represent Shin at the Pearl Famous Academy of Skate and Sword. Pearl is a much more sophisticated place than Shin, but Peasprout doesn’t let herself be dazzled for long. The competition among the first-year students is fierce, and Peasprout has a lot to learn. But coping with mean girl rivals isn’t her only problem. There are political intrigues as well, as tensions grow between Pearl and Shin, and rumors fly that Peasprout is a spy. Not only does she have to become a champion, but she has to figure out who her real friends are, navigating conflicts both internal and external in the process. Part school story, part martial arts adventure, and all excitement, Peasprout Chen and her story are indeed future legends!

Seeker of the Crown

Seeker of the Crown

Hardcover $16.99

Seeker of the Crown

Ruth Lauren

In Stock Online

Hardcover $16.99

Seeker of the Crown, by Ruth Lauren
In Prisoner of Ice and Snow, Valor saved her sister Sasha from a frozen jail, and Princess Anastasia, who had imprisoned her, was revealed as a traitor. But only a month passes before new trouble comes. The treacherous princess disappears, the prince, who had helped the girls escape the ice prison, is accused of treachery himself, and then the queen vanishes as well. Valor and Sasha rescue Prince Anatol, and with two good friends from prison they set off to thwart the princess and find the queen. If they don’t succeed, their country could be destroyed by war, and they could find themselves back in jail…Through the streets and tunnels of a winter bound city they hunt for the truth, only to find that disaster is even closer than they’d realized! Each character brings their own strengths to mission, and though Valor adds more than her share of impulsiveness to the mix, she’s able to keep her head when it matters most, and she never gives up. A worthy sequel to the gripping first adventure.

Seeker of the Crown, by Ruth Lauren
In Prisoner of Ice and Snow, Valor saved her sister Sasha from a frozen jail, and Princess Anastasia, who had imprisoned her, was revealed as a traitor. But only a month passes before new trouble comes. The treacherous princess disappears, the prince, who had helped the girls escape the ice prison, is accused of treachery himself, and then the queen vanishes as well. Valor and Sasha rescue Prince Anatol, and with two good friends from prison they set off to thwart the princess and find the queen. If they don’t succeed, their country could be destroyed by war, and they could find themselves back in jail…Through the streets and tunnels of a winter bound city they hunt for the truth, only to find that disaster is even closer than they’d realized! Each character brings their own strengths to mission, and though Valor adds more than her share of impulsiveness to the mix, she’s able to keep her head when it matters most, and she never gives up. A worthy sequel to the gripping first adventure.

Burning Magic (A Shadow Magic Novel)

Burning Magic (A Shadow Magic Novel)

Hardcover $16.99

Burning Magic (A Shadow Magic Novel)

Joshua Khan

Hardcover $16.99

Burning Magic (Shadow Magic Book 3), by Joshua Kahn
Lilith Shadow inherited a kingdom of the dead and the dark magic of necromancy needed to keep it running. In a world where magic is forbidden to women, it’s not just the darkness of her talents but the fact that she’s using them at all that makes people question her authority. Lily and her squire, Thorn, aren’t expecting any trouble when they pay a state visit to the Sultanate of Fire, home of their friend K’leef. But murder, betrayal, and an epic quest through the Shardlands, a place of magic, monsters, and ghosts, await them. The Shardlands are an unforgettable setting for great fantasy adventures, and Lily and her friends are tested to the limits of their endurance as they move from one peril to the next. Lily emerges ready to embrace her role as the “witch queen,” paving the way for other girls and women to use their magic openly as well, and hopefully for another book in the series…The first two books, Shadow Magic and Dream Magic, are great fantasy fun as well, especially for those who enjoy a generous dash of Goth in their magical adventures.

Burning Magic (Shadow Magic Book 3), by Joshua Kahn
Lilith Shadow inherited a kingdom of the dead and the dark magic of necromancy needed to keep it running. In a world where magic is forbidden to women, it’s not just the darkness of her talents but the fact that she’s using them at all that makes people question her authority. Lily and her squire, Thorn, aren’t expecting any trouble when they pay a state visit to the Sultanate of Fire, home of their friend K’leef. But murder, betrayal, and an epic quest through the Shardlands, a place of magic, monsters, and ghosts, await them. The Shardlands are an unforgettable setting for great fantasy adventures, and Lily and her friends are tested to the limits of their endurance as they move from one peril to the next. Lily emerges ready to embrace her role as the “witch queen,” paving the way for other girls and women to use their magic openly as well, and hopefully for another book in the series…The first two books, Shadow Magic and Dream Magic, are great fantasy fun as well, especially for those who enjoy a generous dash of Goth in their magical adventures.

Carmer and Grit, Book Two: The Crooked Castle

Carmer and Grit, Book Two: The Crooked Castle

Hardcover $17.95

Carmer and Grit, Book Two: The Crooked Castle

Sarah Jean Horwitz

Hardcover $17.95

The Crooked Castle (Carmer and Grit Book 2), by Sarah Jean Horwitz
In The Wingsnatchers, a boy with a genius for tinkering and a one-winged fairy princess joined forces to take on mechanical monsters in a world of steampunk marvels and magic. Now Carmer and Grit are off to see the world, traveling with a magical flying circus. But Rinka Tinka’s Roving Wonder Show and its inventor are hiding secrets; there’s political intrigue and dark deeds afoot in another exciting mystery for the two young heroes to unravel. It’s a beautifully detailed story, full of amazing inventions and wild adventures, and it’s a pleasure to see Carmer and Grit rise to the many challenges they face! Give this one to readers who crave richly imaginative world building, whose ears prick up when you say “faerie steampunk.”

The Crooked Castle (Carmer and Grit Book 2), by Sarah Jean Horwitz
In The Wingsnatchers, a boy with a genius for tinkering and a one-winged fairy princess joined forces to take on mechanical monsters in a world of steampunk marvels and magic. Now Carmer and Grit are off to see the world, traveling with a magical flying circus. But Rinka Tinka’s Roving Wonder Show and its inventor are hiding secrets; there’s political intrigue and dark deeds afoot in another exciting mystery for the two young heroes to unravel. It’s a beautifully detailed story, full of amazing inventions and wild adventures, and it’s a pleasure to see Carmer and Grit rise to the many challenges they face! Give this one to readers who crave richly imaginative world building, whose ears prick up when you say “faerie steampunk.”

Redemption

Redemption

Hardcover $17.99

Redemption

Mark Walden

In Stock Online

Hardcover $17.99

Redemption (Earthfall Book 3), by Mark Walden
Although there’s something to be said for the excitement of waiting for a new book in a beloved series, there’s a lot to be said for waiting to read it when it’s all done! Sam was an ordinary boy in London the day alien vessels filled the skies and sent everyone but Sam into a trance. After almost giving up hope, Sam finds a resistance group and fights against the alien Voidborn, but his life takes an even stranger turn when he realizes that he is no ordinary human, but a shape-shifting hybrid, part human, and part Illuminate. The Illuminates are the key to defeating the Voidborn, but whether Sam can wake their power in time is uncertain. Heart-pounding adventures fill this third book as Sam and his friends frantically try to win the war against the Voidborn, and the fast pace and immersive descriptions keep the pages turning beautifully. This final book finishes up the series in fine style, but you’ll want to read the first two, Earthfall and Retribution, first.

Redemption (Earthfall Book 3), by Mark Walden
Although there’s something to be said for the excitement of waiting for a new book in a beloved series, there’s a lot to be said for waiting to read it when it’s all done! Sam was an ordinary boy in London the day alien vessels filled the skies and sent everyone but Sam into a trance. After almost giving up hope, Sam finds a resistance group and fights against the alien Voidborn, but his life takes an even stranger turn when he realizes that he is no ordinary human, but a shape-shifting hybrid, part human, and part Illuminate. The Illuminates are the key to defeating the Voidborn, but whether Sam can wake their power in time is uncertain. Heart-pounding adventures fill this third book as Sam and his friends frantically try to win the war against the Voidborn, and the fast pace and immersive descriptions keep the pages turning beautifully. This final book finishes up the series in fine style, but you’ll want to read the first two, Earthfall and Retribution, first.